The Vietnam Coast Guard is about to buy a new shipborne maritime helicopter, and everything points in favour of the Kamov Ka-27 which is internationally marketed by Russian state-owned company Russian Helicopters.
The Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam (Vietnam Coast Guard) wants to enlarge the working radius of its four DN 2000-class patrol ships, a 2,500 ton and 90 metres (297 feet) long vessel with aft helideck. The class is based on a design owned by Dutch Damen Shipyards, but the ships are being build in Hai Phong, Vietnam. The first ship of the class, CBS-8001, is already operational.
To make its range of 5,000 nautical miles and its speed of 21 knots more efficient, the Ministry of Defence wants to add a rotary wing element to the patrol ship. Ha Noi admitted recently to have shortlisted the helicopter wish list to the Kamov Ka-27 and the Airbus Helicopters AS 565 Panther, but experts close to the process think the Russian chopper will go through based on purchase and operating costs.
A change could be reached if the Airbus Helicopters teams up with its sister fixed-wing production company for a stronger financial deal, since the Vietnam Coast Guard might wish for more C.212-400s maritime patrol aircraft. Those are built by the former CASA factory in Spain, currently part of Airbus. The Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam already operates three of these C.212s equipped with a Swedish mission suite.
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger